I have been attending District 96 school board meetings for the past four years, during which time I’ve seen a variety of board members come and go. While no board is perfect, the particular make up of our board right now has me concerned. 

The outward lack of respect and understanding of policy and procedure some board members continue to exhibit has me frustrated as a taxpayer and parent. Most of all, I worry about the collateral damage D96 schools and, in turn, our children’s education and home values will suffer as a result of the current state of affairs. 

There is a clear discord between the board members themselves, coupled with a cloud of mistrust surrounding the administration from some board members. 

As I recall our newer board members (Mangia, Marello, Brockway) ran on a ticket of transparency. I will be blunt; the manner in which these board meetings are run is far from transparent. At the May 20 and June 17 board meetings, a power point presentation was given by a community member from the floor and it was not listed on either agenda. In fact the May 20 agenda has been amended, without indication as such, since the meeting took place, thereby making it look as though there was transparency. 

There are a multitude of issues with this repeated oversight, as it does not maintain transparency or openness, nor the opportunity for the community to anticipate discussions at the meeting and attend a board meeting when a topic of interest is being discussed or given time for a presentation. 

When taxpayers are not given advance notice and are not able to anticipate discussions at the meeting, they may miss out on the opportunity to better understand decisions that are being made, or possibly lend opinion or even expertise to a topic after the meeting. 

Ultimately this leads to the rumor mill and “over the fence” talking that often takes place in the community. We all deserve the opportunity to hear these discussions first hand. 

What has transpired over the last few months is no way to conduct business. I am among many other community members who are growing very tired of the games some board members are playing. None of this will benefit our children or our property values. Nor is any of it a good use of taxpayer dollars when our administration and board of education are at odds with one another and we can’t make any real progress.

Please start conducting business in an effective manner. Please stop calling attorneys and start calling your administrators and your peers on the board and work together to make a difference in the education of children. I hear very little discussion amongst board members at these meetings about the real education needs of D96 students. 

I encourage all members of the community to start paying attention to what is going on at D96 Board of Education meetings. Attend them, watch them on YouTube; just please get involved. We can’t just assume this will all work out nicely in the end. 

Rory Dominick

Riverside

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